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Leviathan carbon taxes in the short run


  • Richard Tol



A cap is imposed on the carbon tax rate if the total tax revenue is not allowed to increase. Using recent data on the carbon-intensity of the economy and the overall tax take, I show that this cap constrains almost any climate policy in at least some countries. A larger number of countries, emitting a substantial share of global carbon dioxide, cannot fully participate if the carbon tax (or equivalent alternative regulation) is high enough to meet the 2 °C target. For that target, the carbon tax revenue in 2020 is greater than 10 % of total tax revenue in every country. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Tol, 2012. "Leviathan carbon taxes in the short run," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 409-415, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:114:y:2012:i:2:p:409-415
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0544-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rausch Sebastian & Metcalf Gilbert E. & Reilly John M & Paltsev Sergey, 2010. "Distributional Implications of Alternative U.S. Greenhouse Gas Control Measures," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-46, July.
    2. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2001. "Direct versus Indirect Taxation: The Design of the Tax Structure Revisted," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(3), pages 781-799, August.
    3. Romero-Ávila, Diego, 2008. "Convergence in carbon dioxide emissions among industrialised countries revisited," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 2265-2282, September.
    4. Carson, Richard T. & Louviere, Jordan J. & Wei, Edward, 2010. "Alternative Australian climate change plans: The public's views," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 902-911, February.
    5. Baumol, William J, 1972. "On Taxation and the Control of Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 307-322, June.
    6. Liddle, Brantley, 2010. "Revisiting world energy intensity convergence for regional differences," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(10), pages 3218-3225, October.
    7. Martin L. Weitzman, 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-19, February.
    8. Robert Ayres & Jörg Walter, 1991. "The greenhouse effect: Damages, costs and abatement," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(3), pages 237-270, September.
    9. Ackerman, Frank & Stanton, Elizabeth A. & Bueno, Ramón, 2010. "Fat tails, exponents, extreme uncertainty: Simulating catastrophe in DICE," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1657-1665, June.
    10. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard S. J. Tol, 2015. "Economic impacts of climate change," Working Paper Series 7515, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    2. Richard S. J. Tol, 2014. "Ambiguity Reduction by Objective Model Selection, with an Application to the Costs of the EU 2030 Climate Targets," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(11), pages 1-11, October.
    3. Carraro, Carlo & Favero, Alice & Massetti, Emanuele, 2012. "“Investments and public finance in a green, low carbon, economy”," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S1), pages 15-28.

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